NEW DELHI :
India's largest lender, the State Bank of India (SBI), has informed stock exchanges that the proposed two-day bank strike from September 26-27 has been deferred. SBI branches will, therefore, remain open on the last two days of the week.
"Furtherto our letter no. CC/S&B/SA/682 dated 16.0g.2019 on the captioned matter, we inform that the proposed strike has been deferred. This is for your information and appropriate dissemination," SBI said in a BSE filing.
To protest against the mega merger of state-run banks and demanding a pay hike, a cluster of four bank unions had earlier threatened to shut all bank branches for two days. Since the two-day bank strike was followed by two days of weekend, banks would have remained shut for a consecutive period of four days.
Earlier, SBI had said it had made all arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices but it feared that work in the bank could be impacted to some extent by the strike.
The bank unions decided to postpone the strike following a meeting with finance secretary Rajiv Kumar. "Today a delegation of four officers' organisations met Shri Rajeev Kumar, Finance Secretary and had a threadbare discussion on various issues related to our strike call on 26th & 27th September'19," the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) said.
"It was assured that a high power committee will be formed to look into the related to mergers. We also discussed our Wage Revision, 5 day week, issues of retirees, cross selling, etc. In view of the positive commitments, it is felt that we should defer our strike decision," the bank union spearheading the strike call said.
The union had also threatened an indefinite strike in November.
Two other bank unions -- All India bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) -- have, in the meantime, threatened to sit on a day-long strike on October 22.